The second of the two largest TBMs ever to be used in Australia has arrived in Brisbane and is currently being transported to site in preparation for a July launch on the city’s Airport Link Tunnel Project, the county’s biggest road infrastructure scheme to date.
The brace of 12.45m diameter Herrenknecht EPBMs will be used to drive the 2.4km long twin bore section of the 6.7km toll road tunnel, currently being constructed by the PPP concession winner BrisConnections, with design and construction in the hands of the Thiess/John Holland Group JV.
The first EPBM arrived in Brisbane last November, and is currently being assembled in the 22m deep TBM launch shaft at the Kalinga site in Toombul. Both machines will be launched from the Kalinga site, the first machine on the westbound tunnel in June, and the second on the eastbound bore one month later.
The 4,900kw machines are scheduled to bore some 85m per week through the alignment’s geology comprising the conglomerates and sands of the Tingalpa/Aspley Formation, and Brisbane Tuff.
The Airport Link Tunnel is an integral part of the US$4bn Airport Link, Northern Busway (Windsor to Kedron) and Airport Roundabout Upgrade Projects, all constructed by the Thiess/John Holland Group JV. Altogether there are some 15km of tunnel on the projects including the 1.5km long Busway Tunnel.
Reports from site say roughly a quarter of tunnel works are complete. Much of the tunnelling work is associated ramps and connections and is currently being carried out using a fleet roadheaders.
The Airport Link toll road connects the recently opened Clem 7 Tunnel, Inner City Bypass and local road networks through Bowen Hills to the city’s north and Airport.
Under a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) BrisConnections will finance, design, construct, commission, operate and maintain the Airport Link, Northern Busway (Windsor to Kedron) and Airport Roundabout Upgrade Projects for 45 years, before handing it back to the State.
City North Infrastructure (CNI), a wholly owned Queensland Government operation representing the State on major infrastructure projects, will oversee the delivery of these projects which are scheduled for completion by mid 2012